Saturday, October 30, 2010

Nothing Major

Last week Audio Technica had a press event introducing their latest headphone. The new ATH-CKM99 is among one of the newly released IEM and the flagship of the CKM series. However, AT tends to release a lot of IEM every year and I am not sure this one will be that interesting at the end of the day.

Brainwavz introduces another low end model called the ProAlpha as an upgrade model of the old Alpha. It will be sold alongside the M1 with the same price and close to identical accessories. Check it out here.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

[REVIEW] Etymotic MC5

It was a long time coming for fans to finally see a dynamic / moving coil transducer based IEM from Etymotic, a company that always holds true to the principle of neutral and analytical sound. For MSRP of $79, the new MC5 is not only the lowest in the company’s current lineup of products, but also the cheapest ever as well (*partially thanks to the fact that moving coil transducer is generally much cheaper than balanced armature). However, Etymotic certainly doesn’t want people to mistake it as any other moving coil IEM when they proclaim the MC5 as ‘best in class under $100’. Judging from the press material and patents involved, it does seem Etymotic has put in some real research hours to get the sound ‘just right’ to fit into their house sound. Consider that the ER6i, which is also named ‘best in class under $100’ when Etymotic lower the MSRP to $99 recently, has been sold around $70 on the street for quite some time now, the real question is: Is MC5 an improvement?



Monday, October 25, 2010

[REVIEW] Phonak Audéo PFE 022 Perfect Bass

First, I will like to thank Phonak for the review sample. I have reviewed the PFE121 about half a year ago. Not only do I find the original PFE one of the best sounding IEM under the $200 mark, but also one of the most attractive IEM package around. The Perfect Bass series is a continuation of the original PFE, but tweaked more toward the beginner class of IEM user who are looking for a good quality, smooth and warm sound while avoiding the usual “premium” audiophiles’ price tag. For those who are interested in the Perfect Bass series, I do recommend you to read my previous PFE review. It will give you the basic understanding about the PFE series. The Perfect Bass with mic is about $99 while the regular mic-less verion is about $89.



Tuesday, October 19, 2010

[REVIEW] EarsQuake Fish, CRO, SHA and PIXI

First, I’ll like to thanks EarsQuake for the samples and Udeupa for helping in the arrangement. The EarsQuake brand comes from a Taiwanese company that has been OEM’ing headphones for other companies. The new brand will be their initiative to create a budget orientated line tailored to the mass and younger generation, which in terms, may not really be the audiophile’s sound quality products some of you have accustomed to or are looking for.





Friday, October 15, 2010

Brainwav M3

After the successful introduction of M1 and M2, a new flagship is coming from Brainwavz, named the M3. For those of you who keep track of M1 and M2, you might know that these are rebranded products made by the Chinese IEM maker ViSang - The M3 is no exception, besides the fact that it is originally a collector edition available in limited quantity and meant for China market only. This time Brainwavz is able to bring it out of China on a cheaper price by cutting off the excess goodies that comes with the original models. Don't worry though, Brainwavz is still going to include all the standard accessories like that of M1 and M2. MSRP will be US$89.50 with a pre-order price of US$79.50. The original collector edition was sold for close to US$100 in China.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

GR10 - GReen

When Grado released its original in-ear series, I were not too impressed on how they looks. iGi is too cheap looking for an $80 IEM while GR8 looks decent, just lacks creativity (they both use generic OEM design). I guess Grado does like its design "plain", which I guess is why both models never get popular. In contrast, Ortofon, which released e-Q7 on the same period of time as Grado, get sa lot more prise. The fact is, if you can't attract people's attention on the first look, less will be interested in buying, left alone listening to it. Well, a new flagship seems to be released soon and unfortunately, still features the same design as GR8, except it has a green housing. Hmm.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Westone's Answer: AC2

With stiff competitions from Ultimate Ears, JH Audio and various Chinese / foreign custom IEM makers with ever cheaper models tapping into the lower end of the market, even long-standing company like Westone begins to realize it is better late than never - Here comes the new Westone AC2 dual BA driver custom at only $399, launching this November.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

[REVIEW] Radius HP-TWF11R – Double the Fun

Here is an IEM that carries many names. It is officially known as the HP-TWF11R, but also being called the ‘W Pro’ by its creator. To some of us, it is the ‘DDM’, short for Dual Diaphragm Matrix, the unique dual dynamic drivers’ technology behinds the IEM. But here are some mistakes people often associate with the DDM, there are: first, some refer DDM as the first dual dynamic driver earphone ever created, which actually is not totally correct. ‘Earphone’ includes earbuds as well as IEM, and the world first dual dynamic driver earbuds was invented by Panasonic over 20 years ago. So DDM is in fact, the world first dual dynamic driver ‘IEM’, but not earphone. Second, many believe Radius is a pure Japanese company, which is also not entirely correct. Radius started a long time ago (*at the dawn of ‘Personal Computer’ era) as an American company specializes in making graphic card for Apple computer. In later time, the company diversified its business and setup the Japanese division for making computer accessories. However, the parent company didn’t survive the market change at the end but the Japanese division continues to grow as an accessories maker and earns its own independency as well as becoming the Radius brand’s bearer. Now, putting the trivia and history aside, how good is DDM?



Friday, October 1, 2010

[REVIEW] JDS Labs' cMoyBB v2.02

I have had and certainly heard a few variation of cMoy before, but this is the first cMoy I have heard with a bass boost switch. cMoy is itself an fairly old design, first made and schematic published by the well respected Chu Moy @ It is the portable headphone amp that invented the whole portable amp market, which is something we ought to thank Chu Moy for. The cMoy with Bass Boost v2.02 by JDS Labs that currently under review is however said to be the more advanced version of the original design. The obvious question is of course, how good can a cMoy be?

cMoyBB v2.02 comes in a mint tin, as most eBay's cMoys do.

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Important: All postings are my own personal opinion only and should not be treated as absolute truth. I do get things wrong just like everyone else. Always do your own research!

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